Mysterious diagonal black lines appear, disappear, confusing millions

Hannah Goldfield, food editor for The New Yorker, is a lovely writer. She hardly ever makes this kind of mistake — and the editors at the magazine hardly ever let this kind of mistake slip through:

“Made with a naturally leavened high-gluten dough, they’re super thin and super flat, though still chewy, pale in color, and, most important, cooked on a hot grill instead of in an oven and branded with diagonal black lines.”

Is this an April Fool’s trick? I’m not sure whether to expect those diagonal black lines or not.

This type of food is either cooked on a hot grill and branded with diagonal black lines, or it’s cooked on a hot grill period — with everything else coming under the “instead of” umbrella.

How to straighten out the dilemma of the diagonals?

A simple comma might help: “…cooked on a hot grill instead of in an oven, and branded with diagonal black lines” — meaning yes, the black lines will be there.

Or maybe a dash: “…cooked on a hot grill — instead of in an oven and branded with diagonal black lines” — in which case, you won’t find the black lines.

Perhaps you’ll review Hannah’s article, recognize the dish she’s describing, and advise via the Comment window. Thank you in advance.

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